Sparkling Water: Are There Benefits?

Sparkling water is a refreshing alternative to sodas, but is it any healthier?

To make water “sparkling,” it’s infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. Different forms of sparkling water include club soda (which often has added minerals), soda water, and seltzer water. The carbonation makes it similar to soft drinks, but with far fewer calories.

Drinking sparkling water can help stave off dehydration. If you’re dehydrated, you may experience dry mouth, fatigue, headache, and impaired performance. Chronic dehydration could contribute to digestive issues and complications with the heart and kidneys.

Sparkling water is just as hydrating as still water. However, not all sparkling waters are the same. Some have added sugars or artificial sweeteners, so it’s important to read the nutrition label before purchasing a sparkling water product. 

Nutrition Information

One 8-ounce serving of Aquafina Berry Burst sparkling water contains: 

  • Calories: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 55 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

Potential Health Benefits of Sparkling Water

If you struggle to drink regular water, sparkling water may be a good alternative. It provides more hydration and far fewer calories than soda. That extra hydration comes with a few notable health benefits:

Weight Management

Staying hydrated is key to losing weight. If you’re feeling hungry, it may just mean you’re dehydrated, because your body can’t tell the difference. Drinking enough water can help you feel satisfied longer and consume fewer calories throughout the day.

Improve Digestion

Research shows that sparkling water can help aid digestion. One study with 21 participants found that drinking sparkling water relieved indigestion and constipation.

Potential Risks of Sparkling Water

If you don’t like plain water, sparkling water is a good alternative to sugary sodas and fruit juices. The healthiest type of sparkling water is unflavored and unsweetened.

Watch out for products that include additives or sweeteners. These types of sparkling water can cause side effects for some people: 

Tooth Decay

Sparkling waters that are high in sugar can cause tooth decay. But plain sparkling water has minimal effects on your teeth, especially compared to drinking soda. You can further prevent tooth decay by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine and by alternating sparkling water with plain water to cleanse your enamel. 

Gas and Bloating

The carbonation in sparkling water causes some people to experience gas and bloating. If you notice excessive gas while drinking sparkling water, your best bet is to switch to plain water. 

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 06, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

American Society for Clinical Nutrition: “A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Water, flvrd, berry burst, sparkling, Aquafina.”

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: “Effects of carbonated water on functional dyspepsia and constipation.”

Gastroenterology & Hepatology: “Management Strategies for Abdominal Bloating and Distension.”

International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry: “Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: General and Oral Health Hazards in Children and Adolescents.”

Journal of Oral Rehabilitation: “Investigation of mineral waters and soft drinks in relation to dental erosion.”

Physiology & Behavior: “Hunger and thirst: Issues in measurement and prediction of eating and drinking.”

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